Campaigners fear Newham hospital could lose A&E department

Health campaigners fear bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust may close A&E at Newham University Hospital

Health campaigners fear bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust may close A&E at Newham University Hospital - Credit: Archant

Health campaigners have expressed fears that the A&E department at Newham University Hospital could be closed by Barts Health.

The borough’s MPs as well as the Newham Mayor have also added their voices to the concerns over the future of A&E services at the Glen Road, Plaistow hospital.

Representatives from Newham Save Our NHS, which includes doctors and other health staff, have said managers at Barts Health NHS Trust have already discussed the removal of emergency surgery at the hospital to be replaced with “stabilise, treat and transport” service.

Dr Ron Singer, a retired GP who is now part of Newham Save Our NHS, said the Trust had tried to close the hospital’s A&E shortly after the three-way merger that led to the creation of Barts Health NHS Trust last year.

He said: “There are concerns that Barts Health has already embarked on its second attempt to close Newham A&E or at least undermine the A&E in preparation for possible closure by a variety of managerial manoevers and remedial concerns over clinical competence. Myself and several local GPs are of the opinion that removal of emergency surgery would put the safety of patient care at Newham A&E at risk.

“Newham residents deserve and need to know the truth about the future of their health services especially at Newham University Hospital. Bland statements that Barts Health has “no current plans” to reduce services at Newham do nothing to reassure given the poor state of BH’s financial situation.”

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales and Stephen Timms MP for East Ham said, in a joint statement: “Newham is an area of entrenched health disadvantage and we seek assurances that the turnaround programme for Barts NHS Health Trust will not reduce the range, quality or access to services for Newham residents.

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“It is important that Newham University Hospital does not face a reduction in quality of service.”

Lyn Brown MP for West Ham : said: “I have been hearing a number of rumours about the degrading of Newham General Hospital. It is something that I will be raising in the very near future with management at Barts Health NHS Trust.”

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, Chair of NHS Newham CCG and a local GP said: “We believe that our young and growing population needs a major acute hospital at Newham University Hospital including the provision of emergency care, maternity and children’s services.”

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We have no plans to close Newham Hospital, now or in the future. Indeed, we are exploring the potential to develop its maternity and emergency care services.”

*Campaigners have organised a public meeting at 7.30pm on October 30 at East Ham Town Hall. Stephen Timms and Lyn Brown, both MPs for East Ham and West Ham respectively, are expected to attend.